Wa Zo Bia

Today I’m talking tribes; before I go further let me give you a brief background about myself so you understand my perspective. I was born in Keffi, Nassarawa state, and have lived in Kaduna, Abuja, Benin (briefly), Jos (briefly), Lagos (the bulk of my formative years), Ondo, Iwo (Osun state), Ota (Ogun state), and I’m currently between Warri and Ibadan. That’s minus a few other towns I’ve visited and stayed over briefly. The least time I’ve spent in all the cities I’ve mentioned is a year. I haven’t been fortunate enough to have lived in any part of the east but my observations on Igbos will be based on interactions I had with them during my youth corp service year and while in school.

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Ok; Northerners (I’m lumping Hausas and Fulani together here. They are two quite different tribes). I love them. They are simple, uncomplicated and generally brilliant people (even the illiterates), their girls tend to be really gorgeous, especially the Fulani ones.

Just look at this tatooed gorgeousness

Just look at this tatooed gorgeousness

And they can hold a grudge.  Again, especially the Fulani. You remember how The North never forgets in Game of Thrones? Yep, G. R. Martin could have as well been describing our north.

They do love their cars, their women (sic: runs girls), their alcohol and their cigarettes. Visit Kano and see the kinds of cars they drive over there. Class.

Next; the Igbos. Delightful people. igbo-peopleThey could sell you anything. Seriously, ANYTHING. They can convince you you need a third hand and get you to buy it. I had a university buddy once tell me if I needed anything, he could hook me up. Cars, land, houses, slaves…hold up! Slaves?!

They are incredibly resourceful and can turn literally anything into a profit.  Subsequently I know very few Igbos that aren’t driven strongly by money. Unfortunately it’s largely affected my relationships with members of the tribe but I still have a few awesome friends amongst them.  Oh and when they have this money, you’ll know it. It’s genetically impossible for an Igbo man who has “hammered” to not splurge.

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The lady in the middle will probably cost you an arm, a leg, one testicle and a quarter of your soul just to pay her brideprice

One odd note though, 98% of the women I’ve come across with beards (not facial hair, beards) have been Igbo women. Not that they all are, but almost every woman I’ve seen with beards has turned out to be an Igbo woman. On the other hand the women tend to make pretty amazing cooks and wives; the issue is usually whether you’ll be able to afford to marry one. Getting married to an Igbo girl is making a major financial investment; you need balance sheets, capital outflow and inflow reports, profit and loss statements, 5 -10 year plans etc. And that’s just to prepare for the introduction.

Then the Yorubas. I love the northerners, but having grown up largely among Yoruba people they have a special place in my heart. Bar one, every girl I have ever fallen for has been Yoruba; all my best buds (male and female) are Yoruba. I feel comfortable around them because I have a pretty good idea of how they think.

Yorubas are literally like this every damn Saturday. Painfully happy people

Yorubas are literally like this every damn saturday. Painfully happy people

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I forgot to add that nobody ties gele like the yorubas. Seriously, you’ll need mathematical equations to get it right like they do

They are big on tradition, respect, manners and family and will mind your business for you if you let them (even if you don’t let them), they love their groundnut oil and red hot chilli pepper in everything they cook, and they are loud; especially when it comes to events. Yorubas will illegally shut down a major street, divert traffic and cause jams because someone on that street wants to name his newborn, or just got a contract. I once suffered an impromptu night vigil as an 8 year old on a school night because my neighbors were having a naming ceremony. These are traits they actually share with the Igbos. Both tribes are big on ceremonies. One big plus about their love of events though; the jollof rice. I can’t begin to extol the virtues of Yoruba party jollof rice; if I did that I won’t stop writing. It’s this close to divine.

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I just had to drop this here. Just look at this swag.

Edos. Hmm…I’m not going to feed the stereotype because I actually know a few who don’t fly in the night, plus I’m related to one. On the whole they are cool people, big on tradition too.

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And they looooove their beads. Seriously, I’ve seen those things on a car carrying a newly wed couple

Deltans, well, I am Deltan. What I can say though about Warri people is they are nuts. Their men are the randiest I’ve ever come across; wedding rings mean absolutely nothing to them and a lot actually specialize in chasing married women. Their women will out drink the average drinking man and they drive like maniacs. Seriously, I’ve seen the weirdest accidents; cars-in-trees-and-living rooms-kind of accidents. You think driving in Lagos is bad? Drive in Warri, you will learn new swear words. And the Pidgin English? I mean the real thing? Goodness! It sounds drunken patois.

I could go on and maybe I will, but for now try not to cut my head off in the comments? *wink*

Ariel Ugorji

twitter: @arielugorji

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